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Re: auditory training for the blind

There has been some work on echolocation.  The basic problem for mobility
trainers seems to be that there are huge individual differences in the
ability to echolocate. Some people do it amazingly well,
(one case study examined the ability of a blind 11-year-old boy to ride a
bicycle while avoiding obstacles (McCarty & Worchel, 1954)) .Others never
really get it even with massive amount of training.  It's also been quite
difficult to find a predictor of echolocation performance.   The
experimental work began in the 1940's with several very thoroguh experiments
by Dallenbach & colleagues.  Larry Rosenblum and Dan Ashmead have done some
work recently in this area.

For reviews see:

Neuhoff, J. G. (2004). Auditory motion and localization. In J.G. Neuhoff
(Ed.) Ecological Psychoacoustics. New York: Academic Press.

Stoffregen, T. A., & Pittenger, J. B. (1995). Human echolocation as a basic
form of perception and action. Ecological Psychology, 7, 181-216.

Here are a few other references as well:

Arias, C., Curet, C. A., Moyano, H. F., Joekes, S., et al. (1993).
Echolocation: A study of auditory functioning in blind and sighted subjects.
Journal of Visual Impairment and Blindness, 87(3), 73-77.

Ashmead, D. H., Wall, R. S., Eaton, S. B., Ebinger, K. A., Snook-Hill,
M.-M., Guth, D. A., & Yang, X. (1998). Echolocation reconsidered: Using
spatial variations in the ambient sound field to guide locomotion. Journal
of Visual Impairment and Blindness, 92, 615-632.

Dallenbach, K. M. (1941). Facial vision: The perception of obstacles by the
blind. Psychological Bulletin, 38, 610-611.

McCarty, B., & Worchel, P. (1954). Rate of motion and object perception in
the blind. New Outlook for the Blind, 48, 316-322.

Rice, C. E., Feinstein, S. H., & Schusterman, R. J. (1965). Echo-detection
ability of the blind: Size and distance factors. Journal of Experimental
Psychology, 70, 246-251.

Rosenblum, L. D., Gordon, M. S., & Jarquin, L. (2000). Echolocating distance
by moving and stationary listeners. Ecological Psychology, 12, 181-206.

Taylor, J. G. (1966). Perception generated by training echolocation.
Canadian Journal of Psychology, 20, 64-81.

-John Neuhoff

John G. Neuhoff
Department of Psychology
The College of Wooster
Wooster, OH 44691
Phone: 330-263-2475


----- Original Message -----
From: "Thomas G Brennan" <g_brennantg@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: <AUDITORY@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Tuesday, May 31, 2005 7:03 PM
Subject: Re: auditory training for the blind

Matt, as a blind audiologist this has always been a concern to me.  The
question that seems important in terms of auditory training for the blind
that of echo location.  There is very little material out there and
and mobility trainers do not do auditory training and so far as I know
very few
audiologist have programs specifically designed for bliend clients.


Tom Brennan KD5VIJ, CCC-A/SLP web page http://titan.sfasu.edu/~g_brennantg/sonicpage.html